MacArthur: I Have Returned!
Today, 70 years ago, is one of the greatest events in World War II in the Pacific, the reestablishment of the Commonwealth Government on Philippine soil with the return of President Sergio Osmeña, who assumed the presidency after the death of President Manuel L. Quezon, and Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur, who promised on Australia in 1942 that “I shall return.” The climax of this event was the radio announcement on the audio that we hear now in this recording.
I have returned.
By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed, to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of your people.
At my side is your President, Sergio Osmeña, worthy successor of that great patriot, Manuel Quezon, with members of his cabinet. The seat of your government is now therefore firmly re- established on Philippine soil.
The hour of your redemption is here.
Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages of human history. I now call upon your supreme effort that the enemy may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged people within that he has a force there to contend with no less violent than is the force committed from without.
Rally to me. Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on.
As the lines of battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of operations, rise and strike. Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!
Don’t you feel your spine tingle? Goosebumps.
Perhaps what makes this 70th anniversary celebration special is that so few today have lived through the time. And it takes a lot of historians to interview these people (veterans or civilians) who have first hand accounts of what happened. And time is running out, since many have already died of old age by this time.
The Leyte landing successfully cut off the supply lines and communications of the Japanese, stretching from the oil fields in Sumatra, across the Philippines, to Japan. It drew Japanese forces in Japan and Singapore and converged in the Philippines to battle the Allied advance, staging the largest naval battle in the Pacific, and perhaps in military history—the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The landing also made Tacloban, a temporary capital of the Philippines, and made Leyte the base of operations for the Allied takeover of Luzon and the Liberation of Manila.
Malacañang features awesome infographics of the said historical event. Do check it out, HERE!
Some photos here capture the largeness of the operations. I could hear the choral soundtrack playing. Ships upon ships on Leyte! Liberation draweth nigh!
Source: SoundCloud / govph